Letters the Week of Feb. 12, 2015


Readers share their thoughts on Iran, Netanyahu's upcoming speech before Congress and kashrut laws.

Israel Must Stand Strong Against Iran — and U.S.

The recent editorial, “Staying on Target” (Jan. 29), finally made clear to me why so little was written about the alarming rift between Washington and Tel Aviv. 
Sadly, it reflected the timidity of our times and the flat-out appeasement strategy of the Obama administration. I am a lifelong Democrat and not reflexively anti-Obama. But when I see the harsh personal attacks by White House officials and the intemperate, undiplomatic rhetoric by Secretary of State John Kerry against the leader of our closest ally in the Middle East, I am horrified.
I also objected to the editorial referring to “Netanyahu’s plan” to address Congress. It was not Netanyahu’s plan, it was House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation for him to speak. Furthermore, it reported that “Iran has halted some key aspects of its program.” What key aspects? I’ve only heard of Iran’s frequent cheating and delaying tactics.
The message is clear: Don’t rock the boat. But this is not the time for Jews to recede from the debate. We must prevent Iran from going nuclear. And we must never negotiate from a position of weakness.
Jay Steven Polis | Philadelphia
Don’t Condone Netanyahu’s Visit to Congress
If I were not an old woman, I would go to the GOP-controlled Congress to protest Benjamin Netanyahu’s interference with U.S. politics so that he can be re-elected prime minister of Israel. I believe he and other Israeli political leaders like Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Lieberman have not wanted a two-state solution with the Palestinians (who also do not really want one, either). I believe Bibi has no right to come to the U.S. Congress, without the administration’s invitation, to advocate for us to go to war with Iran. House Speaker Boehner is trying to get American Jews to vote for the GOP — a more corrupt organization than the prime minister’s Likud. Netanyahu was wrong when he came to campaign for his friend Mitt Romney before the last presidential election.
I disliked the Jan. 29 editorial (“Staying on Target”) because it seemed to condone Bibi’s aggressive and unreasonable stance.
Phyllis Berlant Abrams | Plymouth Meeting
Chewing Over a Solution to Kosher Sirloin
Alan Rosenbaum’s letter to the editor (Feb. 5) on Denise Phillips’ recipe (Jan. 11) for Crispy Shredded Chili Beef stated, in part: “As good as it may taste, sirloin is not kosher because it comes from the hindquarter; the last time I checked, hindquarter meat still isn’t kosher.” 
This is not quite true. The only part of the hindquarter which is not kosher is the sciatic nerve. De-veining and de-nerving the sirloin is a time-consuming process. In the United States, most Jews are not willing to pay what a kosher sirloin would cost, so kosher slaughtering houses distribute those cuts to the gentile market instead. However, in Israel, where the non-kosher market is less lucrative and the supply of skilled butchers is great, the economics are different and it is possible to buy a kosher — even “glatt kosher” —  sirloin steak. 
It is not easy, but if Mr. Rosenbaum is determined to eat Crispy Shredded Chili Beef with sirloin steak, he does not have to set Jewish law aside.
Daniel E. Loeb | Wynnewood


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